Dealing With Difficult People

Businesswoman lifting heavy elephantRecently I was chatting with a friend about Difficult People. Perhaps you know the type:

– Likes things done in a specific way (theirs).
– Tends to see the challenges in every situation. Timid and suspicious of hope.
– Roots their identity in the opinions of others. Tries a little too hard.
– Introverted. Occasionally anti-social.
– Wants help but won’t put it into practice.
– Needy, but also proud.
– Denies their weakness – or uses it like a stick to keep life at bay.
– Indecisive and insecure.
– Good at giving advice. Not so good at taking it.

Ah, how we laughed..

But then, I thought about it. And as I reviewed the evidence, my cackling stopped.

It would appear that I am one of the Difficult People.

I didn’t set out to be. And there are other ways of putting it: ‘Quirky’. ‘Splendidly complicated’. ‘Delightfully unpredictable.’ ‘Understandably cautious’. ‘Independent-minded’.

But only one rings true: ‘Selfish’.

So. Where does this revelation take me? Two directions are immediately appealing:

1. Deny it/ justify myself, (In other people it’s annoying. With me, it’s – complicated).
2. Panic, and withdraw further into the intricacy of self-condemnation and my own belly-button.

Neither require me to change. And neither require the Lord’s perspective or His grace.

The third way is the most painful – but also the most healing.

Lord, there’s something in this list. I am difficult: and I don’t want to be. I’m sorry. I want to change: but I don’t know how. Thank you for showing me the areas where I need to grow. Thank you for the cross, which reveals my guilt and then takes it away. Thank you that I don’t have to rely on my own will-power, resolutions or strength. And thank you for giving me your Spirit, who changes the bits I can’t change by myself. Give me grace and patience with others who are like me. And make me a bit more like you.

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